The Council receives numerous inquiries each year about the amount of compensation paid to directors or trustees (members of the governing board) of foundations. Since 1969, board members of private foundations have been subject to excise tax penalties for receiving unreasonable compensation. In 1996, Congress passed the “intermediate sanction” rules that enable the Internal Revenue Service to apply similar penalties for excessive compensation paid by public charities.
Private foundations make grants based on charitable endowments. The endowment funds come from one or a small handful of sources -- an individual, a family or a corporation. Because of their endowments, they are focused primarily on grantmaking and generally do not raise funds or seek public financial support the way public charities (like community foundations) must.
“Private foundation” is the umbrella term that includes corporate, independent, family, and operating foundations. As of 2011, there were 73,764 private foundations in the United States (Foundation Center, 2011).
In 2011, private foundations held more than $604 billion in assets and gave away more than $45 billion (Foundation Center, 2011).
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By Susan E. Budak and Susan N. Gary
Council correspondance to Treasury Department to make equivalency determination easier.
Submitted December 21, 2012
Comments on Proposed Amendments to the Regulations Relating to Reliance Standards for Making Good Faith Determinations
Four stories of how philanthropy responded to national disasters. In each case, organized, strategic giving focused on long-term solutions to the challenges a community faced in disaster.
This infographic from the Charitable Giving Coalition shows why a cap on charitable deductions would undermine giving and have long-lasting consequences for all Americans.